2012 South Dakota motorcycle trip

Day 6

June 19

John & Debby left early this morning to be with Ashton in Rapid City. Maybe some time today they will be grandparents again.

Those of us who aren't expecting grandchildren slept in longer. We didn't have any concrete plans for today. Some places tossed around were Bear Country or the Reptile Gardens. Donna wanted to see Sturgis so I added that to the sight list.

The weather was nice and cool when we left the cabin at 9:36. We rode through Lead and Deadwood on the way to Sturgis. As we rode through Sturgis we saw several flashy bars that were closed for the season, but that's about all. Soon we were on the road heading east out of town. Donna and I both like the show "Full Throttle Saloon". I knew it was on this road so we rode to check it out.

I knew from watching the show they are only open during the Sturgis Rally so all I expected to get was a photo from the road. Surprisingly, the gate was open, so we rode in. The entrance was open so we checked it out. They have a room open to sell T-shirts and such. We ended up buying some shirts. The guy said we could look around.

The thing that struck me is the place isn't as big as it appears on TV. It is very eclectic though. We took pictures and petted the donkey.

Leaving the Full Throttle we continued east on the highway. The Buffalo Chip is down the road, but other than the sign, there isn't much there. My GPS showed a road that went south back to the interstate. When we got there, however, it was South Dakota blacktop...gravel. We turned around.

On the way back we saw a sign for the Fort Meade Calvary Museum. Mike wanted to check it out so we did. It was an interesting place. They had officer candidates training there. The museum had a short film and lots of memorabilia to look at. Only cost $5 each.

Somewhere along the line Mike developed a problem. He broke the clip on his clip-on sunglasses. We were headed to Rapid City next so we would look for a replacement. It was a little windy and cloudy at times but nice...temps in the low 70s.

It was a little past noon as we got to Rapid City. It was time for lunch. Everyone likes barbeque so we stopped at Famous Daves Bar-B-Que. I had never been there before. I had a sampler meal with rib tips, briscuit, pulled pork, baked beans, and potato salad. It was good.

There was a Target up the road so we went there to look for Mike's sunglasses and pick up a few other things. They didn't have anything that fit Mike's glasses. There was an optical place next door to Target. No luck there either.

The Yamaha dealer was about a mile away so we went there next. Mike didn't find anything that would work. The night riding on the way to South Dakota revealed I needed a better pair of clear glasses for the evening. I found a pair here.

Mike had gotten his sunglasses at Walmart, so that was our next stop. Unfortunately, this Walmart had a non-standard optical center. They didn't have what Mike needed. Mike was tired of looking so he said he would deal with the sun for the rest of the day.

Our next stop was Bear Country USA. My advice to motorcyclists who are considering going there...don't. I thought it was some type of bear zoo with cages. Nope. Part of it involves driving through open ranges. If you are on motorcycles you have to use one of their pool cars. Didn't sound bad. A car would be a change of pace.

It went downhill from there. Their pool cars are junk. We chose a minivan. The passenger door handle and window didn't work. The windows are filthy. The air conditioning barely works. We decided to take pictures with the sliding doors open and my window down (I was driving). We hadn't gotten very far before the range nazi said (on PA) to close the doors and windows. Great. Now we're gonna smother and our cameras want to focus on the dirty windows. I was glad to be done with the driving portion and return the junker pool car. We didn't get many good pictures due to the window glare.

Another thing while I'm griping. Why do driver's act like idiots when they see wild animals? There are pulloffs for people to pull into and take pictures. However, people were stopping in the road causing traffic jams...stopping crossways...one guy from Canada was even driving the wrong way.

After the driving portion is a normal place to view the animals in enclosures. We rode our bikes to that side of the park. They had bear cubs the girls went goo goo over.

As I said, I wasn't really thrilled with this place. Especially not for $16 per person.

When we finished at Bear Country it was after 5pm, so we decided to head back to the cabin. We headed towards Hill City then took US385 back to Lead. As seems to be the norm some dark clouds passed through but no rain was involved. We fueled up at the Exxon station and picked up some pop.

When we arrived at the cabin John & Debby were there. No babies today. They'll try again tomorrow. We had leftovers for supper. Donna and I watched a couple episodes of 'Big Bang Theory' as well as hung out on the deck with the crew. The deer made another appearance.

Monty and Stephanie made it to Mitchell, SD, today. Apparently they had a lot of wind and Stephanie was tired of it. Tomorrow they should be in Rapid City.

137 miles.

Click here for our next day's adventure.

Day 1 Day 2 Day 3 Day 4 Day 5 Day 6
Day 7 Day 8 Day 9 Day 10 Day 11 Day 12
Day 13 Day 14 Day 15 Day 16 Day 17 Day 18

E-mail me